K Shipbuilding, in collaboration with Doosan Robotics, has successfully developed welding automation equipment that utilizes collaborative robots to engrave characters onto ship hulls. This achievement was announced by the company on Friday.
Collaborative robots, designed to operate alongside humans and engage in physical interactions with them, played a pivotal role in this innovation. K Shipbuilding disclosed that the development of this automation equipment was made possible through their participation in the ’2023 Smart Production Innovation Support Project for Small and Medium-sized Shipbuilding,’ which received support from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy. This project was organized by the Research Institute for Small and Medium-sized Shipbuilding (RIMS). Traditionally, the process of engraving various letters and markings onto the outer plate of a ship’s hull, using welding beads for ship operation and maintenance, was a labor-intensive and inconsistent manual task.
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The shipbuilder’s technology addresses this challenge by deploying a collaborative robot on a tracked vehicle, known as a bogie. The system utilizes a vision sensor mounted on the bogie to precisely identify the marking reference point on the hull. Subsequently, the collaborative robot autonomously welds characters onto the designated marking reference point. Looking ahead, an official from K Shipbuilding expressed their vision, stating, “In the future, we plan to further develop this technology to enable collaborative robots to assist in welding small parts and performing welding tasks in tight and hard-to-reach spaces that are challenging for human workers. Our goal is to optimize the work process and enhance productivity.”
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